Snapchat acquires phone-based 3D capture company, Seene

Snapchat has secretly acquired a phone-based 3D capture company called Seene, possibly for a future full of three-dimensional or augmented reality snaps, TechCrunch reported. An article  published last week said, Snapchat actually bought the company "a couple of months ago" for a relatively low price, and is bringing  Seene employees to its headquarters in Los Angeles.

According to commentators, while it was not known exactly what plans Snapchat had for Seene, what was known was, Seene's app, launched in 2013, allowed users to scan objects in three dimensions with an ordinary smartphone camera, rather than a special depth sensor like that of Google's Project Tango.

Its website currently advertised detailed facial scanning, reconstructing full scenes in 3D, and augmented reality to make virtual objects appear in the real world through a phone's camera.

TechCrunch pointed out that, there were a number of ways Snapchat could integrate this tech into its own app, allowing users to send 3D selfies.

Seene's technology enables users to only use their smartphone's cameras, be it the front or rear-end, to capture their faces and render those in 3D on their mobile devices. The app could also be used to create 3D geometry of objects in the real world which could be used for various purposes in digital technology, and even virtual reality (VR).

While most VR apps captured a 2D image of and injected a 3D model into it, Seene actually built its 3D renders around real-world things.

Further, Seene could also recreate a 3D setting using a smartphone's rear camera and its accelerometers - basically a combination of still photos and video, which turned ordinary 2D images of places into interactive environments.

"We enable these [mobile] devices to locate themselves in space, map visual environments and recreate in 3D what is seen through the camera, turning a standard smartphone into a 3D scanner without the use of additional hardware or off-device processing," according to Seene's product page.